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Supermarket Chains Improving Seafood Practices Slowly

Safeway And Target Top Greenpeace List

Audio

Aired 4/12/11

An environmental group says the top supermarket chains are doing better in reducing their buying and selling of vulnerable fish. But the retailers could be better.

The latest Greenpeace seafood sustainability report shows the top 20 supermarket chains have come a long way since the group's first report when all 20 received failing scores.

A Costco worker packages fresh seafood at a Costco Warehouse store in Richmond, California.
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Above: A Costco worker packages fresh seafood at a Costco Warehouse store in Richmond, California.

Special Feature Greenpeace Report: Carting Away The Oceans

Our oceans are in peril. Despite the sustainable seafood movement gaining steam globally, the devastation wrought by global industrial- ized fishing continues on a massive scale. In spite of overwhelming evidence and strong warnings from the scientific community, we continue to plunder our seas.

But Casson Trenor with Greenpeace said there's still a long way to go.

"We still don't have a company that would be in what we consider to be the green section or the good section," said Trenor. "That being said, if you compare how the companies are doing this year to how they were doing when we first started this project four years ago, the differences are staggering."

Trenor said the rankings are based on the seafood sustainability practices of the supermarket chains, which includes not selling fish species that are depleted, over-fished or caught using irresponsible fishing methods.

He said 15 of the 20 chains are in the passing or "green" area of the rankings.

The top-three are Safeway, Target and Wegmans. Further down the list are Costco, Trader Joe's and Wal-Mart.

One of five not passing is te Supervalu chain, which includes Albertson's, Bristol Farms and Lucky supermarkets.

Trenor said consumers are helping driving the retailers to better practices.

"People care more about sustainable seafood now then they did four years ago, when we issued our first report," said Trenor. "They know more about it, it's more important. And, for better or for worse, I think a lot of that is because the situation in our oceans are just getting more and more dire every day."

Trenor encourages people to choose markets that make sustainable seafood choices and avoid buying fish species that are at risk.

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